Become a Certified Veterinary Assistant – Study Veterinary Medicine and Work with Veterinarians or other Veterinary Personnel
Curriculum - Vet Assistant School
The Veterinary Assistant Training Program is designed to offer each student the convenience and cost of a home study program with the added benefit of working with a veterinarian or other veterinary medicine personnel in an actual veterinary hospital environment.
Our extensive curriculum consists of 11 stages. The written portion of the veterinary assistant school curriculum includes 3 comprehensive textbooks. Each stage is full of highly relevant and detailed information providing you with the tools needed to pursue a career in the veterinary industry.
Educational videos to familiarize veterinary assistants with the most commonly used procedures within a veterinary hospital. The educational videos run approximately 2 hours and cover 23 topics.
Detailed study guides will also be provided to direct you through the individual components of the Veterinary Assistant Program. They have been designed with your success in mind and will go a long way in reinforcing the knowledge shared throughout the text.
The first stages of the curriculum give you a strong understanding of veterinary medicine and the responsibilities you will encounter working in an animal health career as a veterinary assistant. Once your foundation has been established, you will be given the opportunity to work in an actual animal hospital setting. You will work closely with veterinarians and other veterinary personnel to gain real life experience as you move closer to launching your new animal career.
Study from the Privacy of Your Own Home
What makes ABC stand out from other veterinary assistant schools? When you choose to enroll in ABC's unique Veterinary Assistant Program of study, you can keep your present job while completing your vet assistant training.
The ABC Veterinary Assistant Program brings the classroom to your living room and neighborhood, which means no added expense will be incurred for housing at a distant vet college and no time will be wasted with commuting back and forth to campus every day.
You can study around your current work or school schedule making this program a custom fit. With this flexibility, the normal completion time is 52 weeks.
Personal Program Manager
Although the first portion of the program is done in the privacy of your home, you will not be alone. An ABC Program Manager will be appointed to you upon enrollment and they will be with you every step of the way! They will be there to guide you through the program, counsel you, answer all your questions, and grade all your exams. Your personal Program Manager will contact you shortly after enrollment to get acquainted and welcome you into the program. At that time, you will be given the Program Manager's toll free number and email address for future interactions and assistance as you journey to become a veterinary assistant.
Curriculum Description by Stage
The ABC Veterinary Assistant curriculum is designed to educate you on the essential skills for a career as a veterinary assistant as published by the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators (AVTE). The AVTE was founded in 1973 to promote professional education to veterinary technology students in the United States and Canada. They advocate the cooperation among organizations, institutions and all of those interested in veterinary technology. In addition, the AVTE is credited for campaigning for the practice acts, laws and regulations governing the profession of veterinary technology.
Here is a brief overview of the ABC Certified Veterinary Assistant Training Curriculum
Stage 1 - OFFICE ETIQUETTE AND HOSPITAL PROCEDURES - 21 Days (5.33 units)
In this stage, you will be taught effective client communication skills, learn the do’s and don’ts of admitting and discharging patients, and develop a complete appreciation for the importance of the human/animal bond. You will acquire a thorough understanding of the role of each member of the veterinary team, including the veterinarian, veterinary assistant, veterinary technician and all other animal hospital staff while learning the professional ethics of this occupation. Additionally, this stage covers the handling of medical records and certificates, inventory and restocking procedures, as well as the computer skills needed in a veterinarian’s office. You will also become proficient with safety measures and precautions, while obtaining rudimentary knowledge of veterinary laws and legalities.
Stage 2 - ANIMAL RESTRAINT - 21 Days (5.33 units)
In this stage, the fundamentals and the fine points of animal restraint will be addressed. You will be given an in-depth explanation of ropes and knots as they pertain to animal restraint, and be educated on the differences of various forms of physical and psychological restraint techniques. You will learn the proper placement and removal of different animals from enclosures, the handling of fractious patients, restraint methods during the physical examination and the administration of injections and venipuncture, and how to properly open a patient’s mouth. This stage also covers the proper positioning protocols for different animals and the standard veterinary terminology for each of these positions.
Click here for a sneak peek at Stage 2
Stage 3 - EXAMINATION ROOM PROCEDURES - 14 Days (5.33 units)
In this stage, examination room protocol will be covered. You will learn basic examination room preparation, and patient background and physical examination procedures. Highlights of this portion of the stage will include general cleaning and disinfecting, obtaining and documenting the patient’s history, which includes a history of their chief complaint, and a complete medical and environmental history. This stage also prepares you to perform physical examinations by learning to record observations, test and monitor vital signs, and determine the patient’s weight, respiratory rate, and temperature. You will also develop an understanding of vaccination protocols, bandaging, parasites, anesthetics, spaying and neutering, permanent identification, euthanasia and emergency support.
Click here for a sneak peek at Stage 3
Stage 4 - PHARMACY AND PHARMACOLOGY - 14 Days (2.67 Units)
In this stage, the use of pharmaceuticals in a veterinary office will be addressed. Detailed information pertaining to the legal issues in drug handling, specifically the proper prescription labeling and packaging of medications, the correct way to store biological and therapeutic agents, and the efficient performance of inventory control will be included. You will be taught to recognize general types and groups of drugs and the difference between prescription and over-the-counter medications. You will also learn the proper routes and methods of drug and vaccine administration as well as proper terminology.
Stage 5 - SURGICAL PREPARATION AND ASSISTING - 35 Days (6.00 Units)
In this stage, you will learn the skills every veterinary assistant should master in order to best serve the animal hospital staff before, during and after a surgical procedure. This section provides detailed information on the preparation of surgical equipment and supplies, the appropriate sterilization methods for instruments and supplies, and the identification of common instruments and suture materials, both types and sizes. You will also be given explicit instruction on how to assist with the preparation of patients using aseptic techniques, how to operate and maintain autoclaves, and assist with positioning of surgical patients while maintaining proper operating room conduct and asepsis. Other critical components of this section include the understanding of operating room sanitation and care protocol, performing post-surgical clean up of animals and equipment, proper storage of surgical gowns and drapes, and the identification and appropriate care of common surgical equipment and supplies along with the proper disposition of hazardous medical wastes.
Click here for a sneak peek at Stage 5
Stage 6 - SMALL ANIMAL NURSING - 35 Days (10.67 units)
In this stage, you will be taught the fundamentals of small animal nursing. This stage is richly informative and will provide you with the essential tools needed to properly nurture the animals in your care. This stage focuses on the skills needed to identify different breeds of dogs and cats, recognize normal and abnormal behavior in dogs and cats, identify common diseases and medical conditions, and properly care for the hospitalized patient in your charge. The essentials of patient housing, including environmental considerations, feeding and watering, socialization and exercise will also be addressed. Preventative care such as grooming, ear cleaning, nail trimming, bathing and dipping, along with dental hygiene will be covered as well. The prevention of nosocomial infections and zoonotic diseases and the delicate subject of euthanasia is all part of this very educational stage.
Stage 7 - LABORATORY PROCEDURES - 21 Days (8.00 units)
In this stage, you will acquire basic knowledge of laboratory procedures. Your studies will include recording laboratory results, identifying common external parasites, and developing venipuncture skills. You will learn how to collect voided urine samples, how to determine the physical properties of urine, how to collect fecal samples for parasitological exams and how to prepare fecal flotation solutions. Furthermore, you will be taught how to interpret the various samples and complete antibiotic sensitivity testing.
Stage 8 - RADIOLOGY AND ULTRASOUND IMAGING - 21 Days (8.00 units)
In this stage, you will be instructed on the proper techniques of radiology and ultrasound as a means of diagnoses. Positioning small and large patients, basic safety practices and techniques, and proper methods of equipment care will be explored. Also included are the methods of processing various data received from radiology and ultrasound to include quality control, film identification, and how to use automatic processing methods.
Stage 9 - CAREER BUILDING - 14 Days (5.33 units)
In this stage, the fundamentals of career building will be explored, as well as how to apply them to secure a position as an ABC Certified Veterinary Assistant. Special focus is placed on the job search, how to write resumes, compensation considerations, how to plan a productive job interview, and how to maintain job security. This stage also offers insight on how attitude affects your career, how to set yourself up to succeed, and the importance of financial planning and stability.
Stage 10 - EXTERNSHIP - Up to 20 Weeks (1.78 units)
Upon reaching Stage 10, you will have the unique opportunity to reinforce your studies by practicing what you have learned in an animal hospital setting. Unlike other programs that generally charge in excess of $9,000 for a hands-on program, we include this rewarding and educational experience at a fraction of the cost as an essential part of the ABC learning experience. We believe that a hands-on component will provide each student with a better understanding and working knowledge of what is expected of a veterinary assistant in the working world.
The externship consists of 90 hours of unpaid work experience which combines preparing patients and assisting the veterinarian and other veterinary personnel. This stage allows you the opportunity to put what you have learned into practice. As a student, you will first complete 10 hours observing the veterinary staff while they complete veterinary assistant tasks. During the remaining 80 hours, you will be evaluated on your aptitude for performing the tasks expected of a veterinary assistant.
Stage 11 - GRADUATION - 16 Days (3.33 units)
The Final Exam is given once your course work and externship have been successfully completed. You will review all of the material presented in the previous stages to prepare for the final. This review time is allotted for you to re-read and study the various concepts that have been taught. The Final Exam is designed to test your overall knowledge of skills required to become a veterinary assistant and will cover all areas of the curriculum.
Continuing Education Courses
ABC is also proud to provide supplementary Continuing Education Programs (CEPs) to graduates of our Veterinary Assistant Program. ABC’s vastly informative CEPs were created due to our ongoing efforts to ensure that our students receive the most comprehensive and well-rounded education possible well after graduation. Each CEP is jam-packed with remarkably valuable, up-to-date and relevant information that enhances the student’s knowledge in the animal industry. Once students have become an ABC Certified Veterinary Assistant, they are provided with the exciting opportunity to gain additional information on working with dogs and cats. The CEPs are available for purchase at the time of enrollment, during the program, and at graduation.
Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
The animal industry is continually growing with new ways of caring for our pets. Two of the fastest growing animal services are pet sitting and dog walking. Using our decades of experience in the pet industry, ABC has created a Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Continuing Education Program (CEP) to help you offer this invaluable service to pet owners in your area. This CEP contains 400 pages of detailed material written by Wendy Bedwell-Wilson, author and former editor for Pet Product News International. Topics range from identifying and understanding body language, canine, feline and avian behavior, basic nutrition and hygiene, creating mental and physical stimulation, building relationships with your clients’ pets, personal and home owner safety, creating and maintaining schedules, walking a dog calmly on-leash, building clientele, and much more!
Upon completion of this course, you will have a new and highly sought after service to provide to your existing and future clients. With the knowledge of the ins and outs of creating a Business Plan and Budget, how to properly build client relationships, as well as the expertise of caring for a variety of pets, you will have a highly sought after service to provide to your clients and their pets with fur, feathers and scales.
Cat Management and Training
Cat Management and Training is a comprehensive continuing education course that is offered online only. Since cats outnumber dogs in the United States, learning how to manage and treat cat behaviors can be a profitable venture for the pet professional. In this course, you will learn the proper socialization techniques for developing healthy feline-to-human relationships, as well as, feline-to-feline and feline-to-canine interactions. You will also be taught how to read and interpret feline body language and vocalizations, how to teach basic behavior training (i.e. sit, stay, come), and how to address problem behaviors (i.e. scratching, spraying, howling, etc.). This course also covers teaching “fun” behaviors, such as roll over, tightrope walk and jumping through a hoop. The completion of this course will give you invaluable knowledge necessary to help pet owners and make you a true asset in your chosen animal career.
Pet Nutrition and Diet
The Pet Nutrition and Diet Continuing Education Program (CEP) discusses basic nutrition, the regulations governing commercial pet foods, and the nutritional needs for both cats and dogs. In this course, you will learn how to read pet food labels including the importance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and protective nutrients. You will also learn about the different types of diets (i.e. dry food, canned food, raw food, supplements, etc.) and how food can play a huge role in a pet's behavior. After the completion of this course, you will have the knowledge to educate your clients on how to provide their animals with the best nutrition based on their pet's individual age, weight, and health condition.
The Pet Massage Continuing Education course gives pet groomers, dog trainers, and veterinary staff the skills to calm each pet they interact with. The ability to soothe and calm dogs and cats through touch improves the human-animal relationship and promotes trust and bonding. Pet groomers have the benefit of having a calm animal on their grooming table which allows them to move swiftly through the process of grooming without the problems that heavy-handed groomers experience. Veterinary staff are able to minimize discomfort and pain and help pets recovering from injuries or sooth the aches of the elderly. Dog Trainers will have the ability to create a more positive training experience because they will have an enhanced knowledge of canine anatomy and acute awareness of touch zones. Pet Massage is a growing occupation and completion of this course could also open the door to a profitable pet massage business of your own. This comprehensive course includes step-by-step instructions that guide you through the details of the choreography of a massage for different sizes and types of pets. Topics include: general anatomy and physiology, principles and concepts for different types of massage, creating your workspace, preparing yourself, details for how to develop a pet massage business, and much more!
Alternative Pet Care
Whether you are a veterinary assistant, groomer or a dog trainer, this Continuing Education Program (CEP) offers a fabulous opportunity to learn a more natural way to care for pets in your care. The holistic paradigm focuses on the whole animal (mind, body and spirit) rather than the "disease” or “ailment.” This CEP contains information on how to build health in both healthy and sick animals rather than just treat symptoms. You will be introduced to modalities such as Reiki, the use of flower essences, acupressure, Western herbs, T-Touch™ and whole health through natural diets. This CEP also includes information on how to incorporate these holistic techniques into your practice or business. This program was written for Animal Behavior College, Inc. by Dr. Christina Cham
If you have additional questions about our Certified Veterinary Assistant Program, please feel free to contact us.
Veterinary Assistant College
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